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Tuesday 25th October 2016

Blindness risk for vanity

22nd June 2007

A survey by the College of Optometrists has shown many young people risk harming their eyes by wearing fashion sunglasses which do not protect against UV rays.


The survey - of 1,500 people - found that many young adults will make a purchase depending on the cost and look of sunglasses, without taking into consideration other features.

63% said they were more concerned with how the eyewear looked and its price than its UV protection. This figure jumped to 80% for people aged under 25. One in seven said they never wore sunglasses.

Dr Susan Blakeney, optometric adviser at the College of Optometrists, said: 'It is particularly worrying that younger people have so little regard for their eyes when up to 80% of exposure to UV over a person's lifetime occurs before the age of 18."

She warned it was "especially important to make sure that children wear sunglasses so that any long-term damage is minimised."

Optometrists say that people who wear inferior-quality sunglasses which do not protect against UV rays run the risk of damaging their sight and have an increased danger of cataracts. People with green, grey or blue eyes are at most risk.

The Daily Mail published an expert's guide to testing the quality of sunglasses - to look through the sunglasses whilst holding them "at arm's length" and tilting them. They advise focussing on one point and moving the glasses vertically to look for distortion, in particular at the edge of the lenses. The best quality sunglasses will show "no movement."

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